And now that I’ve caught up on the April books, here’s the list:
30) Reginald Hill — There are no ghosts in the Soviet Union, and other stories
Collection of half a dozen crime stories first published in 1987, which has some bearing on the tone of some of them. The collection is laced with a biting humour, and some superb if sardonic observations of human nature. Logged with notes 28 April 2011.
31) Stephen Cole — Doctor Who: The Monsters Inside
Second of the tie-ins published for the new series. It’s a Who tie-in novel, with nothing much to either recommend or disrecommend it. Not one I’m inclined to give permanent shelfspace. Logged with notes 30 April 2011.
32) Agatha Christie — The Body in the Library
Miss Marple novel with, yes, a body in the library. The library in question belongs to an old friend of Miss Marple, but the dead blonde doesn’t. A week or so after reading the book, I listened to the abridged audiobook from Macmillan Digital Audio, read by Ian Masters. It’s a good abridgment on 3 CDs which manages to retain the necessary plot elements without signalling them too broadly. Logged with notes 1 May 2011.
33) Inspector Singh Investigates: A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree
The fourth of the series about the portly chain-smoking Inspector from Singapore’s police service. This time Singh has been volunteered to hold a watching brief on behalf of ASEAN at the Cambodian war crimes tribunal. This is a powerful story, with characters who make you care about their fate. A worthy addition to the Inspector Singh series. Reviewed 2 May 2011.
34) James Herriot – If only they could talk [audiobook]
First of the memoir/novels by James Herriot about life in a rural veterinary practice, abridged to 3 CD length. It’s read by Christopher Timothy, who played Herriot in the 1970s/80s tv adaptation All Creatures Great and Small, and it’s read very well. Logged with notes 2 May 2011.
35) James Goss — Torchwood: Ghost Train [audiobook]
2 CD Torchwood story written for audio, and set between second and third series. It’s read by actor Kai Owen, for the very good reason that it’s a first person narrative from one Rhys Williams, haulage manager. What we get is not just “actor reads book”, but “actor in character tells us a story about what happened when he got mixed up in an alien invasion last week”. A great story with plenty of re-listen potential. Brief review 2 May 2011.
36) Reginald Hill — A Clubbable Woman [audiobook]
Abridged audio adaptation of the first book in the Dalziel & Pascoe series (which I’ve previously reviewed), on 3 CDs. It’s read by Warren Clarke, who played Dalziell in the tv adaptation. This is a good abridgement, which from following along in places on the printed edition I thought cut about half the text while retaining everything needed for the plot, plus a good chunk of the characterisations. Clarke does an excellent job of reading. Logged with notes 2 May 2011.
37) Agatha Christie — The body in the library [audiobook]
Audiobook abridged on 3 cds, reviewed as part of the review of the print edition.
38) Hyouta Fujiyama — Freefall Romance
Yaoi manga, and a Did Not Finish for me, mostly because I was half way through when I found some torn pages with large sections of the page missing, and I wasn’t sufficiently interested in finishing it to request a replacement copy. Logged with brief notes 3 May 2011.
39) Bob Shaw — Shadow of Heaven
[NEL abridged edition]
Short novel set in a future where an act of terrorism has rendered much of the world’s arable land unusable without reducing the population. Logged with notes 16 May 2011.
40) Jacqueline Rayner – Doctor Who: Winner Takes All
Third in the New Who novel line. The plot’s interesting and the characterisations for Nine and Rose are good. But where the story really shines for me is in one of the one-off characters. Enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. This one I’ll probably re-read. Logged with notes 16 May 2011.
41) Ursula Vernon — Digger [graphic novel]
And this is what ate my Good Friday in 2011, courtesy of a link at Making Light — the webcomic “Digger”. Logged with notes 16 May 2011.
42) Agatha Christie — A Murder Is Announced
Miss Marple novel. Beautifully constructed mystery, with the clues all there but skillfully disguised, in a lovely study of English village life soon after the end of the Second World War. Logged with notes 17 May 2011.
43) Alexander McCall Smith — The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
The first of a series about Precious Ramotswe, the Botswanan woman who sets up a detective agency. Logged with notes 22 May 2011.
44) Gary Russell — Torchwood: The Twilight Streets
Sixth of the Torchwood tie-in novels, set late in second season and with a lot of canon references. And my most favourite of all the canon references is the return of Idris Hopper, the Mayor’s secretary from the Doctor Who episode Boom Town. :-) Logged with notes 22 May 2011.
45) Georgette Heyer – Footsteps in the Dark
One of Heyer’s mysteries, this one a stand-alone rather than part of a series. Logged with notes 22 May 2011.